Travelodge, the UK’s fastest growing hotel chain, today announced that Guy Parsons, previously Managing Director UK, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Grant Hearn, who has been Chief Executive Officer since 2003, becomes Executive Chairman. Keith Hamill, formerly Non Executive Chairman, takes up the role of Deputy Chairman. These changes come in to effect on 1st July 2010.
With the budget hotel sector forecasted to double in the next two decades and Travelodge to add around 40,000 rooms during the same time period, the management changes will ensure that the budget chain capitalises on this huge growth potential. Guy Parsons will drive the day to day running of Travelodge and Grant Hearn will focus on the company’s growth opportunities.
Grant Hearn said, “The last seven years have been very exciting. We have doubled the size of the business and more recently, delivered very resilient performance in one of the most severe recessions on record. Now that we are recovering from this challenging period, it is time for the next phase of development for this company. Travelodge will flourish under Guy’s leadership whilst I will be able to focus on new expansion opportunities to provide us with another gear of growth going forward.”
Guy Parsons said, “Grant has led the team in building a great business. Despite the recession we have continued to grow during the last twelve months. More importantly, we have created an exceptional platform for growth that we can exploit now that the downturn is fading. I am naturally very excited about leading Travelodge into the future.
“As our business moves close to securing our ten millionth customer and its 400th hotel, we will focus on the future needs of the consumer and place our own people at the heart of our business. With a very strong board and the recent additions to the executive team, I believe that this company has never been better placed for the future.”
Guy joined Travelodge in October 2004 from TGI Friday’s where he was Managing Director. Guy has substantial experience of the UK hotel industry. Previous positions include Sales & Marketing Director for Whitbread Hotel Company, Marketing Director for Travel Inn and Director of Operations, Sales and Marketing for Accor.
Keith Hamill is retiring as Non-Executive Chairman, but has agreed to remain on the Board as Deputy Chairman and is remaining as an investor in the company.
Travelodge also announced today the appointment of Jon Hendry-Pickup as Operations Director. Jon has considerable experience, having joined Travelodge from Tesco Plc where he was most recently based in the Czech Republic as Operations Director, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Jon spent six years at Aldi Stores in the 1990s, with his last two as Finance and Administration Director. He moved on to Michelin Plc in 2002, where he was Retail Operations Director of its ATS Euromaster division prior to joining Tesco.